Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cannonball Read - Book 68

I found this synopsis at Books On Board:

"Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden, disappeared 40 years ago... and her octogenarian uncle is determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

"Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, is hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance... and Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age — and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it — assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism... and an unexpected connection between themselves.

"A contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives."

Throughout my Cannonball Read quest, I've been taking a lot of recommendations. Some of them paid off. Others, not so much. Maybe it's that I trust too deeply, or maybe that I want to believe my friends or relatives and I have the same taste in books when really we don't. Or maybe, it's that I end up not buying into the hype. And The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo falls into the latter category.

Don't get me wrong. It's good. REALLY good. Sandwiched between an overly wordy first 40 pages and an interminable final twenty pages is an incredible story about family, revenge, violence, finance, and IKEA. It's a pageturner, folks, and I stayed up way past my bedtime to read one more chapter, or sometimes just one more paragraph. The family at the center of the story is simultaneously twisted and lovable, and the protagonists, Mikael and Lisbeth, were incredibly well-written, to the point that at times, the book seemed like true crime rather than fiction.

But with all that said, it's not as good as people make it out to be. I can't tell you how many people I know have said (or written) to me "Oh my God, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is awesome. Go get it now! Add it to the top of the list!" etc. And yeah, it was good. I just didn't think it was incredible.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - B+

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